tankas with friends #PoetryFriday

Last evening, Teach Write writing buddies gathered on ZOOM for our monthly writing challenge get-together. This month, under the leadership of Leigh Anne Eck, we are writing tanka expressing thanks — directly or, as in my case, indirectly. We like to refer to them as Tanka Yous. After writing for about 30 minutes, we regrouped to share our progress. A lovely evening of writing fellowship, which I am indeed thankful for.

The inspiration for my tanka draft came from a walk my husband and I took Thursday afternoon through a gorgeous land conservation trust property in Lincoln, MA that combines the town’s historic cemetery and an abutting farm. The same family have been farming here since the mid-17th century, and they have graciously created walking paths around and across their fields. (Click here to catch a glimpse!) I love it there anytime of the year, but especially in the fall when the trees that circle the property come to life. As we walked yesterday, a gentle breeze was blowing, bringing down many of the remaining leaves on nearby oak and maple. They fell upon the grass, stonewall, gravestones, and the gravel drive.

autumnal tints scatter
drifting down in the wind
dotting pasture and pavement
memories of warm days past
harbingers of cold to come

— Christie Wyman, 2021 (draft)

Credit for “autumnal tints” goes, of course, to our neighborhood native son, Henry David Thoreau, who accompanies me in spirit on all of my saunters. He, too, walked these parts.

Thank you for joining us this lovely Poetry Friday. Click the link to join the roundup! Matt Forrest Esenwine is our gracious host this week.

21 thoughts on “tankas with friends #PoetryFriday

  1. I could not choose a favorite, Christie, loving autumn as I do. How wonderful you have that kind of walk nearby & then capture it so beautifully.

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  2. We walked yesterday also, gorgeous colors, every shape and texture a thing of beauty. Enjoyed the poem, the last line re-echoes for me. True words! Thanks.

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  3. No autumnal breezes for us! We got more of a roaring leading-edge-of-a-front wind that tore down the remaining maple leaves and started work on the oaks (they will be scattering brown on the ground for weeks to come, working at their own oakly pace) before torrential rains came and made for heavy raking. I wish I could have walked along with you IRL, but the poem will do quite nicely. Thank you!

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  4. Thank you for bringing us along on your walk, Christie! The “autumnal tints” have been a bit muted this year, although some late-turning maples have been stunning shades of amber this week. Many more trees are now bare, though, “harbingers of cold to come.”

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  5. This really is a wonderful little poem, and I (of course) appreciate the time of its writing! Thank you, as well, for sharing its inspiration. I look forward to the day when I finally get to visit the northeast!

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  6. Christie, your tanka reminds me of my fall days when I was a freshman at Regis College in Weston. You pictured a beautiful fall day in Massachusetts under the guidance and mentorship of Thoreau. i love that he accompanies you on trails with such an inspirational spirit. I miss our wonder days.

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